The Acupuncture Alternative

Published in San Pedro Magazine, January 2003 Issue

Feeling ill makes it difficult to carry on with everyday activities. Ying Hoffman, Licensed Acupuncturist at Harbor Acupuncture, knows this well. In 1986 she was studying Computer Science at Michigan State University and was suffering from allergies, frequent headaches, and low blood pressure. She went to medical doctors for help, but they couldn't offer any treatment that was effective. Hoffman explains, "I was drowsy every day and couldn't wake up. I couldn't get my work done and I felt horrible."

It seemed Hoffman had no alternatives and suffered through her courses, until a friend referred her to a local acupuncturist. At the time she didn't believe in acupuncture, but decided to try it out. To her surprise, as the acupuncture treatments progressed, her medical problems were relieved and she could focus much more effectively on her coursework. Hoffman says, "After the first day of treatment, I woke up at 6 am and got everything accomplished on schedule. I couldn't believe it, but the acupuncture worked."

As a result, Hoffman wanted to learn more about this amazing treatment technique, and began to attend an acupuncture class offered by the local acupuncturist. After she moved to Southern California in 1988, she started formal Chinese Medicine studies at Royal and Samra Universities in Los Angeles, receiving her diploma and acupuncturist license in 1993.

Acupuncture is based on energy channels that travel throughout the body. When energy flow is obstructed along these channels, the body first becomes unbalanced, and then ill as the effects of the blockage impact other channels. Obstructions cause pain and poor blood circulation. Specific points along these channels, when stimulated, will enhance energy flow and thereby reestablish balance to the body, with associated good health.

Acupuncturists use the patient's complaints, medical history, laboratory test results, nutritional intake, and Oriental diagnostic principals to provide a diagnosis and treatment. Acupuncture and other Chinese Medicine therapies are gaining in popularity because they are effective. Scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, the World Health Organization has declared it suitable for a wide range of conditions, and most health insurance companies now cover acupuncture treatments.